Lean manufacturing is a process where the focus is to reduce waste. Also, to increase productivity during the manufacture of the product.
We all know that a lot of waste gets created while manufacturing any goods. The customers are also not ready to pay for the trash.
Hence, today the companies are trying to find ways to reduce waste production while manufacturing any product.
Lean manufacturing has a lot of benefits. We will discuss each of them.
We will also cover various other aspects of lean manufacturing.
What is in it for you?
- What is Lean Manufacturing?
- Lean Manufacturing Principles
- Types of Waste in Lean Manufacturing
- 5s of Lean Manufacturing
What is Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing is the process of reducing waste generated while manufacturing a product. At the same time, the focus is also on increasing productivity.
In research, we found that 60% of the production process is waste. Also, customers only pay for the value and not the trash. So, if they do not find value in the product, then they avoid buying that product.
Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production or lean, provides many benefits to the company. We will discuss it in the following sections.
Some of the companies using lean manufacturing systems are Toyota, Intel, Nike, etc.
Lean Manufacturing Principles
There are five principles of lean manufacturing. They are as follows:
Identify value from the customer’s perspective.
Companies manufacture the product as per their perspective. The value of the product from the company’s point of view and the customer’s point of view is very different.
It might happen that as per you, the product you are manufacturing provides high value to customers. But the same might not be accurate. It can be possible that the customers are not finding much value from your product.
Hence, it is vital to see from the customer’s perspective. Then only you can deliver them with high-value products and meet their needs. It will be a more point as compared to your other competitors.
By doing this, you can determine how much a customer will be willing to pay for your product.
So, you see. Lean manufacturing is essential for your company.
Value Stream Mapping
Now, what does this mean? Value stream mapping means you have to analyze every process and stage of production. From there, you will get the information.
What kind of information?
By analyzing, you will get to know which stages and processes of production are doing very well. Also, you will get to know which are not doing well. Hence, those stages of production need improvement in it.
If you find that there is a production of enormous waste, you can drop that step, stage, or process. It not only reduces waste production but also reduces the cost of production.
Hence, the value stream mapping is essential.
There must be a flow in manufacturing a product. So lean manufacturing helps in bring circulation to the production. It eliminates any hindrance that is waste in the production process.
Hence, you can produce and can deliver the product on time. It is where you bring effectiveness and efficiency in your manufacturing unit.
So, lean manufacturing brings flow in your company’s production process.
Establish a Pull System
Lean manufacturing helps in establishing a pull system. It means you start production only when there is a demand for it.
There are two types of systems. One is a push system, and the other is a pull system. In a push system, you manufacture the product based on the forecast of your product’s demand.
You bring all the resources and start producing based on the forecast. Also, it is to note that the estimate is inaccurate. It can either lead to too much inventory or less inventory.
But when you opt for lean manufacturing and go for a pull system, you start manufacturing when you see the demand for your product.
We know that the lean manufacturing process reduces waste. So when you apply a pull system, you avoid the raw material from getting wasted by producing based on the demand forecast.
Continual Process Improvement
It is also known as Kaizen. By implementing the lean manufacturing system, you get to analyze every stage. In the continuous analysis, you find the area of improvement.
Hence, whenever required, you improve the system. That is why it said to be a continual process of improvement.
Types of Waste in Manufacturing
There is a lot of waste that gets generated while manufacturing any product. That is why it is said to install the lean manufacturing system. The lean methodology says to remove waste generation from your production process.
So, let us have a look into what are the types of waste generated. Then we will see how lean manufacturing tools can help reduce it.
- Unnecessary transportation
- Excess inventory
- The unnecessary motion of people, equipment and machinery
- Idle time of people or equipment
- Overproduction than demand
- Over-processing where it is not required
- Defects that need more cost and effort to correct
So these are some of the waste generated while manufacturing. Due to this waste, only customers do not want to pay. Hence, they get less value from your product and get less willing to pay.
In the next section, you will learn how to reduce these wastes by applying lean manufacturing tools and techniques.
5s of Lean Manufacturing
5s of lean manufacturing is all about keeping the work in an organized form. It helps in increasing the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of the work environment.
It leads to an organized working of the employees. They do their work without wasting time and effort.
These 5s terms originated from the 5 Japanese words.
|Japanese Words||English Translation|
|Seiton||Set in Order|
Here sort means you should have a check on each material present in the workplace. Check the raw materials and their usage.
If some of the raw materials are there, which you do not need them, remove it. It increases your workspace.
Unnecessary materials eat up your workspace and mess up the whole production area. So try to analyze the materials and ask the employees working for them. They can better tell you whether that material need is there or not.
So, sorting helps you in cleaning up your workspace. If you do not need any material, you can do any of the following things:
- Give it to some other department
- Recycle it
- Throw it
- Sell it
- Keep them in the storage area
Set in Order
After sorting out the raw materials, you now have a bunch of them you need during manufacturing.
The next step in the 5s of lean manufacturing is that you have to set it in order. Like you need to identify when and which material should be used.
It gives you the clarity of using the material. You get to know the process and series of when and what to put it in use.
By the term, you must be clear that shining means keeping the work environment clean. You should always try to make your employees the habit of keeping their workspace clean.
It involves sweeping, mopping, dusting, wiping down the surface, etc. It also means that you should keep the tools and materials in their proper place.
Also to this, perform regular maintenance of equipment and machinery. It should not be left for the work of cleaning staff only. But make sure that the employees also do it.
By this, they become responsible, pushing them to feel like they have ownership of the space. Hence, they are ready to take responsibility and keep their workplace clean and organized.
After sorting, setting things in order, and keeping the workplace clean, the next thing is to standardize the work.
Now the question is… How?
To install standardization, make a schedule of every work. Set a target for every task and give it a time frame. By that time frame, you must complete the assigned work.
It increases efficiency, and you can complete the task in an organized way. Hence, standardization is essential in 5s of lean manufacturing.
After all the 4s, the final one is, sustain—the 5th s. Now here sustain means after working on all the 4s, you have to make it sustainable.
You should keep a check that it gets implemented for an extended time. It also indicates the participation of managers in the workplace. The employees feel energetic as they get motivation from time-to-time.
Hence, they work with zeal. So it is vital that whatever you have worked on improving the system must get followed.
An organized and clean workplace is better than the chaotic one.
So, these were the 5s of lean manufacturing. Make sure if you are running or having a manufacturing unit, then you apply this 5s tool. It has been proved to be very useful.
So that was it. I have tried explaining lean manufacturing terms in detail. I hope it proved to be beneficial for you. Also, we covered various sub-topics of lean manufacturing.
So, we can conclude how essential lean management is for any company. If you have your company, try to install it. It will be beneficial to you.
Six sigma or 6 sigma is a set of tools and techniques to improve the manufacturing process. It was first introduced by an American engineer Bill Smith in 1986 while working with the company Motorola.
Some of the lean manufacturing tools are:
1. 5s tool
5. Bottleneck Analysis
7. KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
There are many more such lean tools. These were some of them.
Toyota was the company that introduced lean manufacturing in the market. Toyota production system is so effective that they are manufacturing their cars with least waste production.
Also, their production process is very organized and clean. Hence, all companies must practice this method.
It is a system that tracks the inventory of any company. The technique takes the help of both hardware and software devices.
So, all the activities related to inventory are done by the system. The activities can be stock available, raw materials to be ordered, storing, etc.
Lean Manufacturing – Most Effective Way of Production
Summary: Lean manufacturing is a process where the focus is to reduce waste generated during the manufacture of the product and to increase productivity.
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